Midterm Conceptual Design Paper

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Assignment

Submit a paper of about 5 single-spaced pages containing your conceptual design for an extension to VMT to support social networking. Use the definition of conceptual design from Chapter 11 of the textbook. Do not provide a prototype of a physical design.

Discuss why you think this is a good conceptual design.

Take advantage of all that you have learned in the course.

Try to be creative and to really push a vision of social networking that goes beyond what is currently available. Do not simply design minor functionality that is temporarily missing from VMT, but think about how students around the world could be brought together to do math collaboratively.

You may certainly discuss your ideas with other people in the class (or elsewhere), but you must submit your own individual paper, giving credit to others where appropriate.

Place a title, your name and the date at the top of your paper. Number the pages. Save your paper with a file name of your last name and "_design" (e.g., stahl_design.doc). Submit your Word document as an attachment to an email to: Gerry.Stahl@drexel.edu.

Email your paper by midnight of the due date. Grades will be substantially reduced for late papers.

Comments on papers

It was a pleasure to read these stimulating, well-written and thoughtful papers. The papers covered a broad spectrum of approaches to conceptual design, from visionary reflections on potential futures for the VMT project to specific proposals for technologies or features to improve the social networking capabilities of the VMT environment. They all deserve an "A".
The most design effort in the VMT project has actually gone into three areas which were not major focuses in most of the papers:
  1. Designing the usage of the environment, such as providing a whole INFO 806 curriculum in this wiki including spaces to post assignments.
  2. Supporting the interactions of students in the environment, such as referencing to support pointing.
  3. Analyzing the interactions of students in the environment -- and providing computer support to facilitate the analysis, such as detailed logs and a replayer.
The papers were so good that I would like to post them here so you can read each other's paper:

Response to Comments

I think the reason why the papers did not focus on the areas that the design effort for the VMT project has focused on is exactly that. It's been taken care of already in the current version of VMT; so when thinking about extending VMT, the focus shifts to areas that have not been as developed. Bertha 16:02, 15 May 2007 (EDT)
Return to Designing Social Interaction Software

I also think that you are asking us to find ways to improve the software but maybe the problem doesn't lie with in the software. In all of the papers we have read there is no mention of hardware enhancements or technical problems that one might have using a Mac/Java combination. I have many problems using my MAC, text doesn't show up, tabs aren't visibile unless I expand the interface beyond my screen capacity. Another problem is the with group experience. You are assuming that if you give a group the right software tools they will create a good collaborative experience. I think you have found like I have that the groups are made up of people from different levels of understanding in the software developemnt field and so you have the few who lead and then those of us who follow. Sometimes the experience leaves us feeling very useless. Sometimes group members don't participate at all. Sometimes meeting at the same time is impossible. These kinds of problems really don't have anything to do with the software..or do they?K8 21:57, 20 May 2007 (EDT)

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